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Construction Photographs of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, 1931-1936
BANC PIC 1905.14235-14250--PIC  
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Collection Details
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  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Background
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Construction Photographs of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge,
    Date: 1931-1936
    Collection Number: BANC PIC 1905.14235-14250--PIC
    Extent: ca. 3,467 photographic prints; black and white; 9 x 14 cm. 1161 digital objects
    Repository: The Bancroft Library. University of California, Berkeley.
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is available for use

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish photographs must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Pictorial Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
    Copyright restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item] , Construction Photographs of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, 1931-1936, BANC PIC 1905.14235-14250--PIC, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Digital Representations Available

    Digital representations of selected original pictorial materials are available in the list of materials below. Digital image files were prepared from selected Library originals by the Library Photographic Service. Library originals were copied onto 35mm color transparency film; the film was scanned and transferred to Kodak Photo CD (by Custom Process); and the Photo CD files were color-corrected and saved in JFIF (JPEG) format for use as viewing files.


    The construction of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge began in 1933 (although preliminary work began as early as 1931). The bridge was opened to motor vehicle traffic in 1936. It is the world's longest steel bridge, measuring 8 1/4 miles. It consists of twin suspension bridges, and a 1,400-foot cantilevered span succeeded by truss bridges.
    (Source: Hart, James D. A Companion to California, New York, Oxford University Press, 1990)

    Scope and Content

    The San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge construction photographs were taken between 1931 and 1936. The photographers are unknown. The photographs show all stages of construction of the bridge, its components, and the on and off ramps. All facets of construction are featured including excavation, piers, caisson fenders, viaducts, approaches, tunnels, portals, anchorages, towers, derricks, catwalks, cables, trusses, spans, expansion grids, upper and lower decks, cantilever, airplane beacon, toll plaza, underpasses, dredging and borings, and equipment used. Photographs of workers are scant.
    The collection is arranged by "contract" numbers, which appear to be the photographer's numbering system. Each contract is treated as a series and given a consecutive call number within the range 1905.14235-14250. The photographs in each series are arranged chronologically.
    Most photographs are captioned, and include dates and the photographer's numbers. However, since many of the photographs and captions are very similar, the captions are not listed in their entirety in the container listing. Instead, keywords are used to describe an entire series or groups of photographs within a series.